This paper will define self awareness, explore the connection it has to urging leadership and explore various theories and look at the impact it has on self- awareness. Lurch, Smallwood and Sweetmeat (2008) speak of leaders who invest in self, who are self-aware and have strength of mind, are personally proficient and are emotionally resilient. Nursing leaders should be experts in their field. They have a direct impact on the quality of care provided to patients, staff workflow and organizational success. If a leader have no concept of self, they cannot be effective in their role of leadership.
A good leader who understands themselves is more likely to understand others. According to Mushiest, gaining self-awareness about how we are similar to, different from, and perceived by others lets us see the blind spot between our intentions and how our behaviors are unconsciously driven by personally held beliefs and assumptions. To become an effective leader, we must first become self aware of who we are to continue to grow and mature in the leadership role. The Walker and Vans’s (2005) eight-step method of concept analysis defining empirical referents, attributes, antecedents, and consequences.
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Cases are also used to help readers understand the concept under analysis. This analysis hopefully will further contribute to academic knowledge surrounding the concept self awareness in nursing leadership. Introduction Coleman, 2012 states that self awareness is the first component of emotional intelligence. The Delphic Oracles confirms this when he stated “know thyself” thousands of years ago. Self-awareness is the foundation for reflection and is the consciousness of one’s values, strengths and limitations (Horton-Deutsche & Sherwood, 2008).
A person who has self awareness gains a deeper understanding of their own emotions, strengths, weakness and overall values. People with strong self- awareness are neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful. Rather, they are honest with themselves and with other (Coleman, 2012). Being effective as a leader come from within, one must be able to start the process through learning and developing themselves. There is no right way to lead other, nor is there a prescription that can be giving to help individuals become effective on how to lead.
By knowing one’s passions, knowledge, gifts, talents, interest, strengths and weakness a leader can begin to know who they truly are. “Know thyself” was the inscription ever the Oracles at Delphi. And it is still the most difficult task any of us faces. But until you know yourself, strengths and weaknesses, know what you want to do and why you want to do it, you cannot succeed in any but the most superficial sense of the word. The leader never lies to himself, especially about himself, knows his flaws as well as his assets, and deals with them directly. You are your own raw material.
When you know what you consist of and what you want to make of it, then you can invent yourself. (Bennie, 2001, p. 88) Self awareness allows individuals to examine the inner leader within them. The concept self-awareness will allow leaders to identify their own leadership skills and help them recognize how they can make a real difference and why the nursing profession needs them to present their best professional self. The framework of leadership is self awareness and according to Smith, (2007), becoming self aware is a conscious process in which we consider our “understanding of self” (Smith, 2007).
In the nursing profession, nurses show their level of competency by progressing up the novice to expert ladder. In nursing leadership, leaders can show their level of impotency through the Competency model; this ladder shows their level of expertise within their role. One must be conscious when gaining knowledge and to be conscious one must gain self awareness. The concept is heavily intertwined in the leader’s ability to be successful in the role. To be successful, Shari’s window will help leaders “self assess who they are and how others see them.
Definitions and uses of Self-awareness Definition According to Dictionaries The concept of “self awareness” is examined throughout the different disciples to see the similarities and differences in the concept. Merriam- Webster online dictionary (2013) states that the first use of the word self-awareness was in 1808. It defines self- American Heritage College online dictionary (2013) defined self awareness as “Aware of oneself, including one’s traits, feelings, and behaviors”. The Cambridge online dictionary (2013) defined self awareness as “good knowledge and Judgment about yourself. Oxford online dictionary (2013) defines self awareness as “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires: the process can be painful but it leads to greater self-awareness. “Macmillan online dictionary defines elf awareness as ” understanding what your own true thoughts, feelings, and abilities are. ” Definition According to Nursing Profession Smith (2007), states that self-awareness is not a new term in nursing literature; it has been acknowledged for many years.
Becoming self-aware is a conscious process in which we consider our ‘understanding of ourselves. ‘ It is only when we know ourselves that we can be aware of what we will and will not accept from others in our lives – it helps us to relate to other people. Being self-aware enables us to identify our strengths and also those areas that can be developed. If we do not know our good and bad points then we are less likely to be able to help others. Nurses can use the self as a therapeutic effect when working with patients, for example, when amphetamine or advocating.
It also involves recognizing what we know, what skills we employ and what limitations affect our ability to intervene. It can also enable us to present ourselves as knowledgeable, expert in some areas and as still learning but supportive in others. Positively, the self can be used therapeutically to develop the patient’s trust and to promote a sense of wellbeing Smith (2007), also suggests that coming self-aware is compulsory in the caring professions and that it comprises three interrelated aspects: cognitive, affective and behavioral.
Put simply, these aspects can be described as thinking, feeling and acting. For example, feelings about something could influence actions taken; feelings of discomfort when dealing with patients who are dying, could lead the nurse to avoid contact with this patient group and their careers. Being more self-aware can help us to cope in such circumstances, helping us to respect our anxieties and concerns and prompting questions about how these could be overcome. By increasing our self-awareness, we can be more effective in our personal and professional lives.
In the spiritual dimension of nursing care, self-awareness is defined as “becoming aware of one’s own spirituality and nursing care. Acknowledging the nurses’ role as change agents. (Bellyaching, 2011). Fearer & Nichols, (2011) defines self-awareness as a “key concept in emotional intelligence… Which is the ability to process, understand and manage emotions, particularly in relation to others. ” Self- awareness means the discovery of different paths in relationships and life.
Forming and maintaining healthy relationships can e promoted as long as individuals are mutually aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (Aimed & Elmira, 2011). Definition According to Psychology Self-awareness is arguably the most fundamental issue in psychology, from both a developmental and an evolutionary perspective. The “self” is now recognized not only from a first person perspective, but also from a third person’s. Individuals are not only aware of what they are but how they are in the mind of others, how they present themselves to the public eye.
The public outlook on the self is simulated for further evaluation of how one is perceived and valued by others. The result of this called “self conscious” emotions or attitudes such as pride or shame (Algerian, Clearances, & Distributes, 2011). A self-conscious self is expressed as an entity that is simulated and projected in the mind of others. The development of self- awareness early in life reveals layers of processes that expand from the perception of the body in action to the evaluative sense of self as perceived by others.
Self- awareness is a dynamic process, not a static phenomenon (Rococo, 2009). Psychophysiology defines self awareness as “the practice and science of our ability to eel our movements, sensations, and emotions” (Vogel, Alan, 2009). In the mental health setting, self awareness is defined as a “conscious process in which we consider our ‘understanding of ourselves’ knowing our own strengths and limitations, understanding our own emotions and the impact of our behavior in diverse situations serves to enhance therapeutic relationships with others in the mental health setting Sack &Miller, 2008).
Neurophysiology defines self-awareness as “the accuracy of individuals’ assessments of their past, current or future behavior, measured either in relation to objective performance, or in relation to the ratings of significant others or caregiver ( Harold, et al. 2008). Definition According to Education In educational leadership, self awareness is defined as a strong position to work effectively and collaboratively with students. They are able to differentiate their thoughts and emotions while recognizing and taking into consideration the autonomy and independence of others (Kelsey and Hayes, 2012).
Theoretical Underpinnings of Self-Awareness in Leadership Successful leadership depends on the quality of attention and intention that the leader brings to any situation. Two leaders in the same circumstances doing the name thing can bring about completely different outcomes, depending on the inner place from which each operates. (Charmer,2007). The process of becoming a self- aware leader takes a lot of work and can be supported by nursing theories. Nursing theories provide the foundations of nursing practice, help to generate further knowledge and indicate in which direction nursing should develop in the future.
Theories define what nursing is, what it does and the goal or outcome of nursing care (Current nursing. Com). In the review of literature it became clear that several theories can help leaders become more self-aware. Four major theories discuss a form of self-awareness: transformational leadership, Mascots four stages of competency, Palau’s interpersonal relationship theory and Charmer’s theory u. Transformational leadership theory Once a leader increases their self-awareness, they are able to contribute to transformational leadership. Self-awareness allows a leader to recognize the need to build up their team members.
This is done by creating alignment of their values and helping them develop confidence. According Atkinson-Smith, 2011, transformational leadership theory allows for the recognition of areas in which change is needed and ides change by inspiring followers and creating a sense of commitment. Transformational leadership is a theory that was developed by James McGregor Burns in 1978 (Table 1). He developed this theory to further address the aspects of an organization that lead to success, encourage enthusiasm among an organization’s employees, and identify the values employees place on their work.
The leadership characteristics. The ultimate goal of transformational leadership is for the leader and the follower to discover meaning and purpose in relation to their work, in addition to growth and maturity (Atkinson-Smith, 2011). Transformational traders, however seek a larger vision. They change the culture of the organization by encouraging followers to set high expectations. They empower their group members to reach their optimal potential. They develop collegial relationship and promote positive self-esteem. Through this type of leadership, a group rises above and beyond (www. Alertness’s. Com. Mascots four stages of competence During this literature review, it shows that being “conscious” and “aware” are synonyms. The conscious lifestyle is all about becoming more aware. As a leader, awareness can affects everyone around you. Those whom you lead and serve append on your perception of the situation. To become self-aware, one recognizes that they are more conscious of the things happening around them Moscow also speaks about the conscious and the unconscious in learning. Mascots created four stages of competence/learning process which allows an individual to assess what they know and don’t know (see Table 1).
The four stages are unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and unconscious competence. In some instances some people has revised Mascots original four stages to add a “suggested fifth staged” called various name. I found several; asters, reflective competence and conscious competence of unconscious incompetence. During this analysis I will only focus on the original four created by Moscow which is explained in detail below. First stage: Unconscious Incompetence You don’t know what you don’t know.
This stage is often present when you are starting your nursing career, starting in a new specialty, or starting in a new role. A whole new world opens up to you. Soaring in this stage requires having someone create a positive and safe learning environment- a place where you know that someone has your back so you can try out your new knowledge without the fear of arming a patient or embarrassing yourself (Lurch,2011). Second stage: Conscious incompetence You know that you don’t know. As you learn more, you begin to understand what you don’t know.
This is a great place from which to soar. Think about what you need to learn and make a plan on how you can learn it. Think about hat resources are available to you- school, online courses, a mentor or preceptor, or attending an educational meeting with your colleagues (Lurch, 2011). Third stage: Conscious competence You know that you know it. It’s a good feeling to know you are competent. Reaching his stage is a time to think about soaring by obtaining certification in your specialty (Lurch, 2011). Fourth stage: Unconscious competence You know it so well, you don’t think about it.
Soaring can become a challenge at this stage. It is pretty easy once you have reached this level of expertise to coast. The work becomes routine, and before you know it, you are consciously or unconsciously bored. Finding the new heights to soar will take more work than coasting, but it is necessary to keep your mind fresh. This may be the time to go back to school, get involved in your specialty association or engage in projects at work or volunteer Another theory that helps leaders with self-awareness is Palau’s psychodrama nursing theory which focuses on interpersonal relationship.
When dealing with an interpersonal relationship, it allows a nurse to help patients and ease distress (see Table 1). Nursing is an interpersonal process because it involves interaction between two or more individuals with a common goal (http: current nursing. Com/nursing theory). The nurse can identify current and potential problems. Palau’s theory has four phases of nurse-patient relationship that resembles the relationship between the leader and the nurse. The four phases include orientation, identification, exploitation, and resolution.
An overview of the phases in a leadership perspective is provided below. The four phases of the leader- nurse relationship are: 1. Orientation: During this phase, the nurse has a felt need and seeks professional assistance. The leader helps the individual to and understands his/her problem and determine for help. 2. Identification The nurse identifies with those who can help him/her The leader permits exploration of feelings to aid the nurse in undergoing problems as an experience that reorients feelings and strengthens positive forces in the resonantly and provides needed satisfaction. . Exploitation During this phase, the nurse attempts to derive full value from what he/she are offered through the relationship. The leader can project new goals to be achieved through personal effort and power shifts from the nurse to the nurse as the nurse delays gratification to achieve the newly former goals. 4. Resolution The nurse gradually put aside old goals and adopts new goals. This is a process in which the nurse frees himself from identification with the leader. Retrieved from: http://surrendering/nursing_theory/application_Palau’s_interpersonal_theory. HTML The interpersonal relationship also focuses on the six nursing roles of the theory which includes; stranger, teacher, resource person, counselor, surrogate, and leader. When a nurse transition into the leadership role they also take on the six roles while working with their team of nurses. These roles were designated for the nurse in a nurse-patient scenario. However, the roles can also be used for a leader-nurse relationship, in which I will focus on. When the leaders first transition into the role of leadership, he/she must first meet the team of nurses.
The leader (as stranger) must overcome the distance between them. As a teacher, he/she must transfer important knowledge to the nurse. As a resource manager, the leader must allocate must provide specific needed information that aid the understanding of a problem or new situation. She counsels the nurse by helping him/her understand and integrate the meaning of their current life circumstances, provide guidance and encouragement. At times the leader must stand in for the nurse (surrogate). Finally, he must lead the team in bringing initiative and goal setting to the table.
Charmer’s Theory U To become effective, leaders must recognize their “blind spot” in order for them to become self-aware. The theory u (u process) can be helpful in this process. Theory u has been introduced by Otto Charmer (2007). When change occurs after using the u process, individuals will notice the shift and begin to operate from a future space of possibility that they feel they want to emerge. Charmer states “Being able to u is comprised of many components due to this being a more complex theory (see Figure AAA).
However, I will only focus on the fundamental principle that creates the theory u. The list below show the area of the theory u (see Figure B) that will be discussed in this analysis: Downloading/Holding the space Suspension/Seeing Redirecting/Sensing Letting go Presenting Letting come Crystallizing Prototyping Performing The visual structure of the theory is in the shape of the U. The theory starts from the left to the right, which begins with downloading. In the downloading (holding the space) phase, the leader must create or “hold a space” that invites others in.
The key to holding a space is listening: to yourself (to what life calls you to do), to the others (Partially others that may be related to the call) and to that which emerges from the collective that you convene. Suspending/ seeing allows an individual to attend with wide open mind or to suspend their Voice of Judgment (VS..). Suspending your VS.. Means shutting down (or embracing and changing) the habit of Judging based on past experience. Suspending your VS.. Means opening up a new space of inquiry and wonder. Sensing mean to connecting with your heart. Individuals can see things as they are.
This “U process” allows one to connect to the deeper forces of change while opening your heart. As individuals continue to move down the left side, it creates a facilitation of an opening process. This process look at three instruments: the open mind, the open heart and the open will. Although the mind places us in familiar territory, but the other two places us in less familiar territory (Charmer, 2007). After this phase, the theory allows the individual to enter the phase that helps us release the old, so we can move into the new, this phase is called “letting go’.
Presenting is at the bottom of the visual U structure, it allows an individual to connect to the deepest source of you and will. While an open heart allows us to see a situation from the whole, being open will enable us to begin to act from the emerging whole). After this phase, the theory allows the individual to move upward on the structure. This phase is called “Letting come” allows the individual to enter the phase that helps us connect to our future and the possibilities that lies ahead. Crystallizing allows an individual to access the power of intention. Individuals can now being to envisioning the future and what it can be like.
During this phase, commitment and intention allows an individual to go out into the world and create an energy field that start to attract people, opportunities, and resources that make things happen. Prototyping allow the individual to integrate the head, heart, and hand. The individual can now begin to experiment with action. This phase allows individuals an opportunity to open up and deal with the resistance of thought, emotion, and will. Moving upward on the “U” creates a powerful breakthrough idea that requires learning to access the intelligence of the heart and the hand- not Just individual into the Macro level.
Charmer states, “When playing a macro violin, it requires you to listen and to play from another place. You have to move your listening and playing from within to beyond yourself” (Charmer, 2009). Critical Attributes: Walker and Avian (2005) states that the critical attributes is the heart of the concept analysis, and these attributes provide the insight to the concept (p. 68). Attributes of a concept are “characteristics of the concept which appear over and over” (Walker and Avian, 1995, p. 41).
From the extensive literature review and analysis, the defining attributes of the concept self-awareness includes increasing emotional intelligence, openness to feedback, understanding strength and weakness (see Figure 3). Defining attribute of Emotional Intelligence Emotional intelligence (E’) not only distinguishes outstanding leaders but can also be linked to strong performances. Emotional intelligence increases with age. Emotional intelligence is born largely in the neurotransmitters of the brain’s limbic system which governs feelings, impulses and drives.
To enhance emotional intelligence… They must help people break old behavioral habits and establish new ones (Coleman, 2012). Nurses as change agents and role models must be introspective, focused yet flexible and have stellar emotional intelligence to be able to connect with others and achieve buy-in (March, K. , 2011). El requires moving beyond awareness of your emotions. You have to do something with that awareness (Smith and Biltmore, 2012). Leadership capabilities are closely tied into aspects of emotional intelligence self- awareness.
Having emotional intelligence, unquestionably affect our leadership abilities and our career success (Scott-Stump A. Sylvia, 2011). Defining attribute: understanding strength and weakness. Once you accept and understand your strength and weaknesses, you are miles ahead of the majority of the population in moving toward success. Most people are uncomfortable admitting their weaknesses. This is unfortunate because the better you understand them the greater your opportunity for success ( McGinnis, Timothy, 2013). Self -awareness is the capacity for understanding your emotions, strength and weaknesses.
Self- awareness is key to outstanding leadership (Smith and Biltmore, 2012). To become more self- aware, we should develop an understanding of ourselves in many areas. Self- awareness helps you exploit your strengths and cope with your weakness (http: www. Wright. Deed/вЂ”). Barriers to self awareness take two forms. Hidden strengths are the skills leaders have, but underestimate. This can cause such individuals to expand needless energy “fixing” something that isn’t broken or under-using a critical leadership skill. Blind spots, the skills that leaders overestimate, are more problematic.
These are weaknesses leaders can’t see in themselves even though they are evident to everyone around them (Orr, Swisher, Tang, Demise, 2010). Defining attribute: Openness to feedback Increasing self awareness and thus preventing or recovering from career derailment is possible at any leadership level. A key tactic: seeking and analyzing feedback. Leaders can ask for feedback from everyone around them- bosses, peers, direct reports, significant others, even archival. Getting feedback can be an informed, ally practice and it doesn’t cost anything (Orr, Swisher, Tang, Demise, 2010).
To emotions and your behavior. Cases In order to place self-awareness in an appropriate clinical context, cases have been constructed to demonstrate the concept’s use. Examples of differing types of cases such as model or contrary cases provides the reader an opportunity to construct an image, therefore enabling additional understanding of the concepts. A model case is one in which all defining attributes are illuminated unmistakably (Crooning, Ryan, & Coagulant, 2010). To further understand the concept self awareness, additional cases re presented.
A contrary case reflects what self-awareness truly is not. Walker & Avian 2005, states that “these cases can help clarify the concept being analyzed as it sometimes easier to say what something is not rather than what it is”. Borderline case contains most of the defining attributes but not all. These cases are inconsistent in some way from the concept under study. Finally, a related case is instances where the concept is similar and connected to the one being studied. These cases help with understanding how the concept being analyzed fit with the network of concepts around it.
Model Case Nurse Apple has been a staff nurse leader for eight years. She is a great advocate for the patient and families always encourage others input. She is open- minded recognizing her weakness and always seeking help when needed. She took the nurse leadership (manager) position in hopes to make a difference. She realized that the position she accepted was more challenging than anticipated. She works on a respiratory unit that has 48 personal beds and she oversees over 24 nurses. One day, Nurse Apple was informed by case management that one of the families was unhappy with their nursing care.
Nurse Apple was not familiar with the family and decided to look up the patient’s information so she would not address the problem blindly. During her investigation of the problem, Nurse Apple was approached by her charge nurse to inform her of the difficulties the staff has encountered with a family on the unit. To her surprise, it was the same family. Nurse Apple sat down with her charge nurse to receive more information on the situation that has been taken place. The charge nurse began by stating that the patient was a 3 month old male who was recently trachea due to subtopic Stetsons, tracheotomies and expiratory failure.
The patient is on tract collar on room air. The family is from Bulgaria and they have some cultural beliefs that interfere with care being provided. She continued to explain that the grandmother stays over night with the patient and was the second caregiver. The mother is the primary care giver and come every afternoon after she gets off work. The mother speaks English/Bulgarian and the Grandmother speaks only Bulgarian. The grandmother on several occasions have refused any interpreter offered stating the dialect is different, creating increase arises involving communication.
The Charge Nurse continued to state that it has been hard to provide them with consist care (primary team) because of the way the nurses are treated and the nurses being mentally exhausted after one shift. All nurses that have worked with them have complaints. The doctors are aware and a solution needs to be developed. Nurse Apple took all the information gathered from the various sources and meet with the family one-on one to introduce herself. Nurse Apple learned that the family viewed the nurses more like nannies and that